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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys,
I am new to planted aquariums, and I was wondering if there is any tips, tricks, and/or advice you guys have for me, if so it would be very helpful.
Right now I have a 10 gallon tank, and inside I have:
-2 Moss Balls
-Rotala Rotundifolia
-HC
-Pygmy Chain Sword
-Java Fern

In addition to the plants I have some lava rocks on the foreground.

I would also like to note that I planted most of these plants yesterday.

My tank:


My Plants:


I would like to apologize for the quality of the pictures. And once again any advice is appreciated. Thank you!


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 03:55 PM
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Hey! I am fairly new to the planted tank as well. Your tank looks pretty good right now but just remember, balance is key. Do not give tons of light, tons of co2 and no ferts. That will just cause massive algae blooms and an ugly mess. Also if and when you buy fertilizers, do not just buy a fertilizer that says it will make the leaves greener and lusher. Read in to it a little bit. Plants require Micro and Macro nutrients so don't just buy a fert that has iron and potassium. I learned this the hard way. Oh, in case you were wondering, Macro nutrients are basically Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus. Micro nutrients are basically vitamins/trace elements for plants. The lists i gave you are kind of vague. So, just google it but don't get too worked up about all these nutrients you do not need to buy bottles and bottles of different ferts.
Good luck!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks aquariumrookie this will be a lot of help, and a good starting point for me!


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 04:27 PM
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What kinda lights do you have? How strong are they? Any fauna? Base your fertilizers off of your lights. Low light means less maintenance. Better for beginners. High light for more experienced and more maintenance and harder to avoid algae. If you're keeping it low light all you need is very little ferts if any. Fauna help with the nutrients and Co2 that your plants need.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 04:29 PM
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The best tip I can give you is to read a ton on this forum. The amount of helpful info is staggering.

Also the Java Fern you have should not be planted in the substrate. It will do great tied to one of your lava rocks(use black thread or fishing line or Super Glue gel) Its roots will work its way into the rock, it looks really good and natural.

Otherwise the tank is looking good!

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jonnyboy View Post
What kinda lights do you have? How strong are they? Any fauna? Base your fertilizers off of your lights. Low light means less maintenance. Better for beginners. High light for more experienced and more maintenance and harder to avoid algae. If you're keeping it low light all you need is very little ferts if any. Fauna help with the nutrients and Co2 that your plants need.

I have white light LEDs and I believe they are medium lights. I have no fauna. What kind of fauna would you recommend? And thanks for the tips




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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerSaint View Post
The best tip I can give you is to read a ton on this forum. The amount of helpful info is staggering.



Also the Java Fern you have should not be planted in the substrate. It will do great tied to one of your lava rocks(use black thread or fishing line or Super Glue gel) Its roots will work its way into the rock, it looks really good and natural.



Otherwise the tank is looking good!

That's what I have been doing hahaha. There is a lot of helpful info, and thanks for the tip with the Java Fern I will give it a try.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 06:21 PM
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In a 10 gallon you're restricted to smaller fishes. You should get what is most appealing to you though. For algae eaters I like amano shrimp and oto cats. They will munch on algae but not control it. I also like loaches to eliminate snails which tend to come with plants.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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In a 10 gallon you're restricted to smaller fishes. You should get what is most appealing to you though. For algae eaters I like amano shrimp and oto cats. They will munch on algae but not control it. I also like loaches to eliminate snails which tend to come with plants.

Ok thanks! I will keep that in mind.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 04:51 AM
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Will you be injecting co2 or using Excel? What substrate do you have?

I would suggest go for a low maintenance setup right from the beginning, in the long run that does prove beneficial with you not having to balance so many things. The downside is that you may not be able to keep fancy plants.

I have a planted tank which is really low maintenance, no co2 injected. The more things/tech you add to your tank the more balancing you are going to have to do. So dont add too much tech is what I live by . Another advantage to having a lo maint tank is that you can have one more tank

I just dose liq. ferts twice a week, dont vac the substrate (means a lot less work for me), do WCs twice a week. I follow some Walstad principles so things are as natural as possible in my tank. My cabomba grows 1.5 inch/week. I've had the same fish since July 2013 when I rebooted my hobby.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Will you be injecting co2 or using Excel? What substrate do you have?

I would suggest go for a low maintenance setup right from the beginning, in the long run that does prove beneficial with you not having to balance so many things. The downside is that you may not be able to keep fancy plants.

I have a planted tank which is really low maintenance, no co2 injected. The more things/tech you add to your tank the more balancing you are going to have to do. So dont add too much tech is what I live by . Another advantage to having a lo maint tank is that you can have one more tank

I just dose liq. ferts twice a week, dont vac the substrate (means a lot less work for me), do WCs twice a week. I follow some Walstad principles so things are as natural as possible in my tank. My cabomba grows 1.5 inch/week. I've had the same fish since July 2013 when I rebooted my hobby.

Right now I have no plans of injecting CO2 or using Excel. Should I? And I have gravel as substrate. And those tips are very helpful, thank you!


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 04:51 AM
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Excel would be a good idea. Aside from just being good for your plants it will help against algae and for a small tank one bottle will last a while. I get almost a year on my 20gal dosing every other day.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 04:54 AM
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Right now I have no plans of injecting CO2 or using Excel. Should I?
I've given injecting CO2 (both diy and pressurized) a serious thought and decided I wouldnt be able to maintain that kind of a setup. As a kid in the 80s I had a planted tank with no CO2/no Excel and amazons were thriving so I have that success story always with me. So when I rebooted my hobby in 2013 I always wanted a simple settup.

To answer your question: its really a personal evaluation. can you devote that much time/money etc to maintaining and monitoring things so many times every week? Its a balancing act.

I am in India so a lot of the products available in the US arent available to me - e.g. Excel and root fert tabs. So I have to think of other ways to do things.

I would say for you if you want to keep the setup low maintenance, do the following:
gravel substrate, root fert tabs for the heavy root feeding plants (e.g. amazons), liquid ferts for non (heavy) root feeders such as java moss, anubias. with this you should be able to have plants which require less care.

keep lights around 1.5 WPG but these days people say thats not a rule to be followed but works for me.

Also I dont vacuum out the mulm that builds up, just let it collect, its food for the plants and not cleaning it reduces my maintenance work a lot. People find root fert tabs also a big expy in the long run but there are DIY recipes for them too which turn out more reasonable. you can use commercial root tabs to start with and later experiment with DIY after your plants are established.

From what I read, seems like Excel doesnt work for all plant species but for the ones it does work, it gives good results.

if you want fancy plants such as a lush carpet, red plants, etc thats the high tech story & you need to go with CO2, hi lights, etc.


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And I have gravel as substrate. And those tips are very helpful, thank you!


9apple
I am glad to help and tell you what worked for me, been experimenting the past 5 months to get some success since Dec

what is the grain size of your gravel?

gravel by itself is inert, it doesnt provide any nutrients to the plants, neither does it store nutrients. something such as Eco Complete (has high CEC) is a substrate that absorbs and stores nutrient for later use by plants but its more expy. if you go with gravel, root tabs will help as mentioned above. i've read people in the US do that and have got good results.

the other substrate is dirt (the Walstad method) but please read and see if you want to do that. i have a walstad experimental tank going for the past 6 weeks - where I have one more challenge - Miracle Gro is not availalble in India .

If I am uncertain how a particular method will work out, if possible I do an experiment around it on a small scale such as in a bowl. hope this helps.
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